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How to Disconnect to Connect

I don’t know about you, but every year the holiday shopping ads seem to appear earlier and earlier. I get emails about Black Friday, Giving Tuesday* and Cyber Monday, and they tell me, “Click here! Go to our website, and spend your money with us!”

I’m over it. Although ’tis the season for shopping and spending, I’m ready to make the holidays about connection. And I encourage you to join me and take time this holiday season (and beyond) to disconnect from your screens in order to fully connect with those around you. 

Here are some tips to help you disconnect to connect:

1 – Time yourself

If you have to knock out some work or do some online shopping, set a timer and limit your screen time. That can keep you focused and prevent you from going down Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit rabbit holes.

2 – Try out airplane mode

Your phone is designed to keep you hooked, but you can break free by turning your phone off or moving it into airplane mode (be sure to turn off Wi-Fi). You won’t be distracted by texts and emails that normally alert you, which means you’ll be giving your full attention to those around you.

3 – Take a hike

Instead of spending money on holiday shopping, make plans to spend time with people who matter to you. Follow REI’s lead, and #OptOutside on Black Friday. Plan a hike with your friends, and keep your phone out of arm’s reach.

4 – Reach out to your community

Seek out ways to connect with your community. Invite your neighbors for a cup of coffee or see if there are volunteer opportunities at a nearby shelter.  

5 – Walk a dog or cuddle a cat

Speaking of volunteering, consider reaching out to a shelter to see if any dogs need to be walked. No one says you have to connect with HUMANS all of the time!

The furry friends will certainly appreciate your kindness, and it just might do you do some good as well. If you’re like many others, the holidays bring up sadness and grief. Spending time with dogs (or cats!) can boost your mood and help you cope.

6 – Play games

Earlier sunsets give you an excuse to stay inside. Instead of turning on Netflix, dust off your favorite board game.

With the exception of Monopoly (which is my least favorite game), I love playing games with my 12-year-old daughter, Hannah. It’s less fun now that she can beat me more often (haha), but I still enjoy the time together.

Playing games can help you connect more with your neighbors and friends, too. Who doesn’t love a good game night? (PS – If you can, be sure to invite Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. He doesn’t often get invited to reindeer games, and I think he feels excluded!)

There are many other ways you can disconnect from technology in order to connect with our world. Let us know what you’re doing to Disconnect To Connect this holiday season using #DisconnectToConnect. We’ll share your ideas with others!

*Nothing against Giving Tuesday, by the way. Compassion It is a nonprofit, and we hope people donate to the nonprofits doing good work in our world!


About Compassion It

Compassion It is a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire compassionate actions and attitudes through workplace training, personal development training, tools, and content. We envision a world where compassion is practiced by every person, for every person, on every day.

Learn how to “Compassion It” and build a more compassionate world. Share our mission and become a Compassion It Advocate.

Also, did you know we offer compassion training for your workplace? Learn how our training can reduce burnout, help your organization’s bottom line, and foster a more compassionate workplace.

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